Magniﬁcent palaces and forts are waiting to be discovered on
this Indian rail adventure aboard the Palace on Wheels train.
Experience the lifestyle of the Maharajahs as we visit walled
cities, marvel at the astonishing Taj Mahal and enjoy tiger
spotting in Ranthambore National Park.
We meet at the 4-Star Oberoi Maidens Hotel for a two-night stay,
in the heart of New Delhi close to diplomatic missions, shops and
Day 2 - Sightseeing in Delhi
Today is devoted to a fascinating sightseeing tour. We start
with an engaging rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi, an
explosion of sights, sounds, and activity, and visit the Jama
Masjib Mosque. We then go on to New Delhi, passing by President
House and Parliament House. We visit Gandhi's Smriti, a museum
dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, before discovering Connaught Square on
a walking tour. Finally, we rest and sample high tea at the
Day 3 - The Toy Train to Shimla
After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to the train station
to board the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. On arrival, we embark on a
scenic journey on the UNESCO listed narrow-gauge Toy Train to
Shimla. Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by road.
The mountain town of Shimla was 'discovered' by the British in
1817, and was later used as a fashionable retreat from the summer
heat thanks to its lovely temperate climate.
Days 4-5 – Shimla
Today, we explore Shimla by car and see sights such as the
Viceregal Lodge, a striking 19th century Elizabethan-style mansion
that was the summer seat of the viceroys of India until the 1940's.
After lunch, we take a leisurely stroll along the Mall to the
town's Gaiety Theater, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church and
Scandal Point - so called because it was where people would
traditionally meet to gossip.
On Day 5 you are free to explore at
leisure. This provides you with a great opportunity to travel
further into the Himalayas for majestic views towards the higher,
snowcapped mountain peaks of the world's tallest mountain
range, followed by a High tea lunch at Wildflower Hall, with
walk in gardens. (please note, these experiences are
Day 6 – Return to Delhi
We leave Shimla in the morning and travel by road, for the
journey back down the mountains through stunning scenery to
Chandigarh. Here we join the Shatabdi Express to Delhi, for another
night at the Oberoi Maidens Hotel.
Day 7 – Delhi and the Palace on Wheels
Enjoy a free morning until we make an afternoon visit to Delhi's
National Rail Museum, which tells the history of India's railroads.
After, we transfer to our hotel train, the Palace on Wheels, for an
enchanting journey through the bygone era of the Maharajas. We have
time to settle into our comfortable cabins before we enjoy dinner
together in the restaurant car as the train heads into the
Day 8 - Jaipur
Our first stop is the capital of Rajasthan. Founded in 1727 by
Maharaja Sawai Singh II, this lovely city is often referred to as
'the Pink City' after the buildings were painted pink in the 19th
century to celebrate a visit by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince
Albert. Sightseeing includes the imposing Palace of the Winds,
whose ornate façade once enabled the ladies of the royal court to
observe life in the street below whilst remaining in 'purdah.' We
also visit the magnificent Amber Fort, one of three hilltop forts
that dominate the hills above Jaipur, and enjoy lunch at a local
restuarant. During the night the train continues east.
Day 9 - Tigers and Chittorgarh
We leave the train to visit the Ranthambore National Park, to
spot tigers, leopards and other native wildlife before we head to
Chittorgarh to see the majestic hilltop fort, the Tower of Victory
and the intricate Tower of Fame.
Days 10-11 - Udaipur and Jaisalmer
The Palace on Wheels reaches Udaipur this morning. We leave the
train for lunch at a local hotel before taking a cruise on Lake
Pichola, sailing around the small island and the Lake Palace Hotel,
originally the Palace of the Maharani of Udaipur. On our return to
Udaipur we rejoin the train.
On Day 11 we arrive in Jaisalmer, a fairytale
walled town in the Thar Desert. We explore the narrow, twisting
streets of the town center, see beautiful merchants' houses with
intricately carved sandstone façades and enjoy a camel ride into
the surrounding desert. We dine together onboard before the train
departs for Jodhpur.
Day 12 - Jodhpur
Jodhpur is known as the 'Blue City' due to the hue of the houses
within the old walls. During a morning tour we see the impenetrable
walls of the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace with fine sandstone
carvings. We enjoy lunch in the Palace Hotel and visit Jaswant
Thada, a white marble cenotaph. We rejoin the train and journey
Day 13 - Agra and the Taj Mahal
This morning we arrive into beautiful Agra, where we disembark
the Palace on Wheels for the final time. After leaving the train,
we visit Agra Fort, a majestic red sandstone citadel, and the
captivating Taj Mahal, the iconic white marble masterpiece.
Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 for his
favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the world's finest
example of Mughal and Persian architecture. This afternoon, we take
the Gatimaan Express to Delhi, where we check into the ITC Maurya
and enjoy dinner.
Day 14 – Return home
We bid farewell to India today, as you make your way to the
airport for your flight home.
On some departures we enjoy a talk from Raaja Bhasin in
Shimla, gaining a detailed insight into the town through its
people, history and culture. Known for his unique insight into this
region's fascinating heritage, Raaja Bhasin is an acclaimed writer
and researcher; most recently serving as a historical consultant on
Channel 4's 'Indian Summers' series. Born locally, he is considered
an authority on Shimla and the wider area of Himachal Pradesh
having written five critically acclaimed books, as well as many
articles, stories and even a TedTalk relating to the subject. He
has been actively involved in many heritage projects, including the
Kalka Shimla Railroad line which is the route you will be traveling
along. Thanks to the efforts of Raaja and his team, this route was
awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008 something that, as we
journey through the mountains learning about the distinctive and
inspiring engineering that made the line possible, we will soon
Recommended Airport Arrival
For this tour, we recommend you arrive into Delhi Indira Ghandi
Airport (airport code DEL), which is approximately 15 miles from
your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is Delhi
Indira Ghandi Airport (airport code DEL), which is approximately 6
miles from the Safdarjung Railroad Station, where your journey on
board the Palace on Wheels concludes.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport,
visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your
itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot
travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with
any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses
which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any
passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime
after 14:00; this is where you will meet your Tour
The tour was absolutely excellent. The accommodation, the restaurants chosen, the itinerary, were all superb as were the guides everywhere.
Mr D Alcock
Submitted Nov 23, 2018
Hotels and itinery first class.
Mr K Wills
Submitted Nov 16, 2018
Fascinating destinations, well planned, well conducted.,
Mr . Taylor
Submitted Nov 16, 2018
Absolutely fantastic, the whole experience was great, the organisation was superb, the tour manager was so efficient, yet managed to keep a low profile to allow the group to have a wonderful experience, whilst being immediately on hand for any difficulties / questions.
The local guides were exceptional, particularly in the First phase of the tour, he was a wonderful man who obviously enjoyed demonstrating his pride in his country, and explained all of the details perfectly, he along with the tour manager are a credit to your organisation.
Submitted May 04, 2018
A magical experience and a great way to journey around this part of India.
Mr S Graham
Submitted Dec 10, 2017
Exciting and fun with plenty of new discoveries each day